By James Bakama
What was formerly the Lugogo boxing gym is to be transformed into a general Fitness Centre.
The center will besides serving as base of the national boxing team, also be a fitness spot for other sports disciplines and the general public.
The gym, one of t e oldest facilities of the Lugogo Sports Complex, is one of National Council of Sports (NCS) properties.
There have been fears that boxing had been thrown from the facility after its management being given to a private firm – Fitness 4 Life.
“It remains the national boxing team’s base. Boxers will access it whenever they need it. The only difference now, is that it will also be open to the public,” clarified NCS General Secretary Jasper Aligawesa.
Aligawesa explained that the venture is one of council’s partnerships with the private sector to develop the complex.
Retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel Bricks Diamond, who holds a Master’s Degree in Physical Education and Sports Science, runs Fitness 4 Life.
Beneficiaries of Diamond’s drills include the national boxers Mike Sekabembe and Juma Kaggwa, who recently won bronze at the Commonwealth Games, the national Lacrosse team and Uganda’s top tennis player Duncan Mugabe.
“Diamond’s drills have helped me a great deal. I will certainly be a better player when the season starts next month,” said Mugabe in between a session on Tuesday.
US Chamber of Commerce vice president Meg Jaguay shares a similar view. “Besides reducing on my weight, I have been able to build on stamina and strength.”
Diamond is refurbishing the facility. The gym is no longer the cobweb and pest filled room it used to be. It has been given a fresh look with a better floor, mirrors, music, punching bags, fresh coat of paint and fitness machines amongst other fitness items.
“More machines are coming in,” explained Diamond, who charges the general public but not national teams.
“National team sportsmen are exempted from any charges. This is their facility.”
Diamond added, “Uganda has immense sports talent but there is still a lot lacking in physical fitness. As a result there have been numerous unnecessary losses.”